Diane O’Reggio, a dynamic and experienced champion and administrator of progressive organizations, has been appointed Executive Director of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF).
Ms. O’Reggio holds degrees in economics and public administration from the University of Western Ontario and Ryerson University and holds a certificate in Strategic Management for Leaders of Non-Governmental Organizations from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government executive education program. She served as President and CEO of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (Canada), and as the Provincial Secretary (Executive Director) of the Ontario New Democratic Party.
For more than 15 years she has managed organizations and developed expertise in operations, finances, human resources, strategic management, developing financial plans and fundraising among major donors, corporate and union supporters. She has hands-on experience working collaboratively with boards of directors, staff, volunteers, stakeholders and partners.
As well, Ms. O’Reggio has actively supported LEAF for many years and been involved with international human rights and development issues, including equity and inclusive education, and advancing gender equality.
“Bringing a feminist analysis to an issue means fully embracing the expertise, experience and diverse perspectives and voices women offer to political, cultural, economic, social or legal challenges faced by women locally, nationally or globally,” Ms. O’Reggio says. “LEAF’s record in challenging inequities facing Canadian girls and women by taking legal action under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a long and successful one, and I’m proud to be part of it.”
To contact Diane:
416-595-7170, ext. 225
LEAF marks the release this week of Forsaken: The Report of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry. Although the Inquiry was widely criticized by local community and rights groups, including our sister organization West Coast LEAF, LEAF hopes that the release of the Commission’s report will draw the nation’s attention back to the plight all victims of violence who have been forsaken by the Canadian justice system, and particularly to the more than 67 victims of a serial killer whose atrocities were ignored by too many for too long.
LEAF recognizes the tireless work of the many individuals and organizations that continue to advocate for justice for the missing and murdered women- particularly all those whose voices were excluded from the Commission process, including our sister organization, West Coast LEAF, whose statement in response the Commission’s Report can be found by clicking here.
Together with our partners, LEAF will study the recommendations made in the Report, and will continue to work to ensure that the recommendations, where appropriate, are adopted by the relevant bodies.
LEAF endorses the call made by the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) and the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA)for a national inquiry into missing and murdered women throughout Canada, and echoes the concern that the terms of reference of such an inquiry must be established in consultation with Aboriginal and other marginalized women and must address the systemic issues that cause and contribute to the epidemic of missing and murdered women in this country.
As a nation, we have a long way to go to atone for the many ways in which our social and justice institutions failed these women, and the many others who have been victims of violence before and since, in particular the more than 600 Aborignal women who are still missing. LEAF honours the memories of the murdered women by rededicating ourselves to the job of building a society based on equality, where such a horror will never be repeated and these women will not be forgotten.
Marlene Abigosis ~ Sereena Abotsway ~ Sharon Abraham ~ Elaine Allenbach ~ Angela Arsenault ~ Sherry Baker ~ Cindy Beck ~ Yvonne Boen ~ Andrea Borhaven ~ Heather Bottomley ~ Heather Chinnock ~ Nancy Clark ~ Wendy Crawford ~ Marcella Creison ~ Dawn Crey ~ Sarah de Vries ~ “Jane Doe” ~ Sheryl Donahue ~ Tiffany Drew ~ Elaine Dumba ~ Sheila Egan ~ Cara Ellis ~ Gloria Fedyshyn ~ Cynthia Feliks ~ Marnie Frey ~ Jennifer Furminger ~ Catherine Gonzalez ~ Rebecca Guno ~ Michelle Gurney ~ Inga Hall ~ Helen Hallmark ~Ruby Hardy ~ Janet Henry ~ Tanya Holyk ~ Sherry Irving ~ Angela Jardine ~ Andrea Joesbury ~ Patricia Johnson ~ Debra Jones ~ Catherine Knight ~ Kerry Koski ~ Maria Laliberte ~ Stephanie Lane ~ Kellie Little ~ Laura Mah ~ Jacquelene McDonell ~ Diana Melnick ~ Leigh Miner ~ Jacqueline Murdock ~ Lillian O’Dare ~ Georgina Papin ~ Tania Petersen ~ Sherry Rail ~ Dianne Rock ~ Elsie Sebastian (Jones) ~ Ingrid Soet ~ Dorothy Spence ~ Teresa Triff ~ Sharon Ward ~ Kathleen Wattley ~ Olivia William ~ Angela Williams ~ Taressa Ann Williams ~ Mona Wilson ~ Brenda Wolfe ~ Frances Young ~ Julie Young
The SCC affirmed the rights of disabled students following the successful intervention of LEAF affiliate, West Coast LEAF. LEAF congratulates West Coast LEAF and joins them in applauding the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Moore v. Ministry of Education.
In this case, a child suffering from severe dyslexia, Jeffery Moore, was denied the educational support he required in order to learn to read in public schools when the North Vancouver School District cancelled his special needs program. He was forced to transfer to a private school in order to access the services he required. Earlier this month, the SCC found that Mr. Moore was discriminated against by the closure of the specialized program.
In this case the School District argued that it could not accommodate the needs of Severely Learning Disabled (SLD) students because it was too costly in the context of their financial constraints. West Coast LEAF intervened to argue that cost should rarely be used to justify discriminatory conduct, and the burden on human rights complainants to prove discrimination must not be set unnecessarily high.
The Court found that the discrimination was not justified, despite the District’s difficult financial circumstances, because the district failed to consider the impact the closure of the program would have on SLD students, and failed to explore other options for saving money. The Court held that , even where financial constraints exist, governments must prioritize human rights and equality.
“This case has important implications for children with disabilities, as well as broader implications for others experiencing discrimination,’ says Kasari Govender, Executive Director and co-counsel for WEst Coast LEAF. ”The Court affirmed that cost cannot trump human rights except as a last resort.”
Find out more about West Coast LEAF at www.westcoastleaf.org
LEAF celebrates the 203-91 defeat of Motion 312, the backbencher bill that sought to reopen the abortion debate.
LEAF was honoured to offer our support to the important work of the Abortion Rights Coalition Canada in rallying individuals and organization across the country to unite in opposition to this regressive proposal. We congratulate and thank ARCC-CDAC for their contributions to the defeat of Motion 312.
The motion and surrounding debate remind us of our need to be ever vigilant in ensuring we not only continue to advance women’s equality, but also that we protect our current hard-won rights.
“Equal Pay Now” states a banner on a new mural in downtown Edmonton. A homage to the “famous five” the mural depicts Emily Murphy, Nelly McClung, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Irene Parlby and Louise McKinney the five women who are behind the 1929 “persons” case, wherein Canada’s highest court, then the Privy Council in England, ruled that women are indeed persons and can thus sit in the senate. The unveiling was attended by Premier Alison Redford, Mayor Stephen Mandel, LEAF Edmonton Chair, Jo-Anne Kolmes, former LEAF National Chair and current Executive Director of the Centre for Constitutional Studies, Pat Paradis, and current LEAF National Chair, Jennifer Tomaszewski, as well as many others.
Alberta Premier Alison Redford
LEAF Chairs: Jennifer Tomaszewski (current), Pat Paradis (former)
“Harper v. The Judges: The Biggest Issues Facing the Country are Being Tackled not by Parliament, But in Court,” Macleans
“Some also argue that activist groups on the left have done a better job at swaying the courts in their favour. Professor Chris Manfredi of McGill University notes that the progressive record of courts in the Charter era is partly the result of the efforts of organizations, like the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund.” Read more >
Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) proudly presents the 2012 Persons Day Breakfast gala event – combining education, entertainment, information, culture – and a powerful dialogue about the contemporary ethics, legal challenges and landmark victories that shape your world. Join us in Toronto on Tuesday, October 16th, as we welcome LEAF National’s 2012 Persons Day Breakfast Gala keynote speaker: The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean – Canada’s 27th Governor General. More >
We recommend listening to Sally Armstrong on the New Revolutionaries on the CBC program Ideas. This amazing program documents women’s grassroots strategies around the world. The critical role of the Ad Hoc Women’s Committee in the drafting of the equality provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the creation and work of LEAF are discussed as pivotal in the advancement of women’s rights in Canada.